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The Commentaries of the previous acaryas on Some Important Pastimes
Chapter 24 Indra Being Corrected (Govardhana Hill)
1. Jiva Goswami says that Krishna can sometimes forgive such things as the worship of demigods, but Balarama cannot, because He is such a great devotee of Krishna and does not appreciate the worship of anyone other than Krishna.
2. Jiva Goswami says that Krishna already knew why they were preparing the sacrifice, but He inquired specifically to show disrespect to Indra.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Krishna was looking forward to this pastime, in which He would be able to have very close association with His devotees.
4. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Nanda may object that what business does a child have in asking these questions. Krishna may say "I have a great desire to hear these things." Nanda may think that Krishna is not intelligent enough to understand, being a child, but Krishna shows He is wise by speaking "na hi gopyam.." To those who see equally there is no difference between that which is confidential and that which is public.
5. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that if one does not see equally then a neutral party should be seen as an enemy, as he is friendly to the enemy, and is therefore partly on his side.
7. All acaryas say that kriya yoga means an activity, the result of which is not obvious, but can only be understood through scripture.
13. "One takes birth by karma", "One is destroyed through karma", "Happiness, distress fear, security come from karma" - Jiva Goswami,
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that Krishna resorts to karma-vada in order to protect His humanlike pastimes (top avoid taking the position of God).
14. "Even if there is a supreme controller He is dependent on people performing fruitive activities, otherwise He wouldn't be able to give results if there were no activities to give results for" - Shridhara Swami,
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that cowherd men object that it is not just karma, but there is controller who is awarding results.
15. Shridhara Swami says that it is from karma alone. demigods just like false nipples on neck of goat. But, they may object, karma may be instigated by the Supersoul. Krishna says no, it depends on one's svabhava - one's conditioning. So there's no fruit to be gained by worshipping Indra.
16 Shridhara Swami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that that means Supersoul is subordinate to one's conditioning.
17. So it is karma alone that should be worshipped. Demigods cannot give or withold favour. Karma is the highest principle. But we know that actually Supreme Lord can give or withold favour.
18-20. One should worship one's prescribed work. If one is getting one's necessities from one person why should one worship another? It would be like a woman trying to have a paramour - can't succeed.
20. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that for a brahmana the Vedas are his Deity. for the ksatriya earth is, for the vaisya business, and for the the sudras the higher classes (those things these classes get the livelihood from).
22. Shridhara Swami says that the Lord resorts to atheistic sankhya philosophy to defeat the idea of demigod worship.
23. Same idea.
24. Shridhara Swami says that we are dependent on the forests and hills. Jiva Goswami, Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura say that the Lord is indicating Govardhana.
25. Therefore the cows, brahmanas and Govardhana are our Deities.
35. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Krishna assumed a personal form on top of Govardhana Hill, just like another hill, so that the cowherd men had faith "He is the hill."
37. Shridhara Swami says there are 6 arguments: 1. karma alone is sufficient; 2. that conditoned nature is the supreme controller; 3. that the modes of nature are the supreme controller; 4. the Supreme Lord is a dependent aspect of karma; 5. that the Lord is under the control of karma; 6. that one's occupational duty is one's worshipable deity.
5. Shridhara Swami says that vacanam = source of the revealed scriptures; balisam = free from pretension, like a child; stabdham = does not bow down, because no-one is higher than Him; ajnam = He is omniscient, so there is nothing else for Him to know; pandita-maninam = He is highly honoured by the knowers of the Absolute Truth; krishnam = the Supreme Absolute Truth, with form full of eternity and ecstasy; martyam = out of affection for His devotees He appears like a human.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that vacalam = speaks contrarily (karma-mimamsa, sankhya), although He doesn't accept them; balisam = foolish since He resorts to such false arguments; stabdham = not humble, since He showed audacity before even His father; ajnam = doesn't know anything, because always tending the cows; pandita-mani = presumes Himself to be a scholar.
6. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that avalipta mana = intoxicated because their minds influenced by Krishna
16. Shridhara Swami says that by using plural Krishna is also thinking of other demigods who think themselves big controllers, like Varuna and others.
18. Shridhara Swami says that this is a vow that Krishna has taken - to always protect His fully surrendered devotees.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that this is a "well-known" vow of Krishna's
19. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Hari-vamsa states that it was His left hand. A partial expansion of His yogamaya potency known as 'samhariki kept the rain from falling on Krishna wherever He went, so not even His turban got wet.
20. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that how could all the inhabitants of Vraja fit under the hill, which was only 3 krosas in size? Simply by being touched by the hand of the Lord Govardhana Hill was in such ecstasy that he got inconceivable power. He even felt the striking of the thunderbolts etc to be like showers of flowers
In Hari-vamsa Krishna says that even the whole three worlds can be given shelter under this mountain, so wha to speak of this little Vraja.
All the deer, hogs etc. on Govardhana then climbed to the top of the hill, and still they didn't experience any distress.
23. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that because they were seeing the beauty of Krishna all their hunger went away, through their drinking Krishna's beauty and sweetness. And Krishna's hunger went away through drinking their love and beauty.
The Lord's potency dried up the water as soon as it touched the ground.
24. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that he was afraid because he didn't know what punishment Krishna was going to give him.
29. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that superiors did things like smelling His head, kissing Him, rubbing His right arm, stretching out His fingers, praising Him, inquiring whether He was tired or pained. Equals laughed and joked with Him. Inferiors fell at His feet, masssaged His feet etc.
Those in parental type rasas gave benedictions like: "may you subdue the wicked, protect the civilized, give pleasure to Your parents and be enriched with all wealth and opulence."
30. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Balarama is included in this group because He is older. Questiion may arise why did Balarama not expand as Sesanaga and lift the hill. But point is that Krishna had personally vowed to do this, and it would have been unfitting for an expansion to carry out the stated intention of Krishna Himself.
Chapter 28 Returning Nanda Maharaja From Varuna
1. Jiva Goswami says that there only remained a few moments to break fast.
The word tu (but) indicates that only Nanda Maharaj entered the water, as he had great knowledge of all the scriptural rules, more than the others.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that there were only a few moments remaining of the Dvadasi, and there is a scriptural injunction that even if the last minutes of Dvadasi fall around midnight, one must still immediately fulfill all the obligations given by scripture, even those which would normally be performed up to noon.
2. Shridhara Swami says that the servant of Varuna who captured him was ignorant of the rules of scripture. He was ignorant of the rules of devotional service.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the servant was a demon.
Actually Nanda Maharaj had entered the water on the strength of scriptural injunction, which the servant did not know about.
3. The men who cried out were those who were guarding Nanda Maharaj while he was bathing.
At the time Krishna was lying on a bed of flowers.
Because Krishna is all-knowing He immediately understood what had happened.
7. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Ajanata means the servant who was not in knowledge of the bhakti-sastras and therefore did not know that when the Dvadasi is short one can enter the water even before dawn.
As he says "Your father who has been brought here" Varuna points with folded hands to Shri Nanda who has been seated within a jeweled welcoming pavillion and has been offered worship by Varuna himself.
He feels that the offense of his servant is the offense of himself.
Chapter 15 Dhenukasura
20. "Lovingly made to the 2 Lords the following request"
Sanatana Goswami says that "lovingly" indicates they were asking because they wanted to please Krishna and Balarama.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the cowherd boys wanted to offer the tala fruits to Krishna and Balarama, but they spoke on the pretext of wanting them for themselves.
22. Sanatana Goswami says that the fact that there were fallen fruits indicates this pastime took place in the month of Bhadra. Dhenukasura was hoarding them because of his evil nature.
27. Sanatana Goswami says that Krishna and Balarama were laughing because They wanted to dispell the fear of the cowherd boys. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Krishna and Balarama laughed because They thought the boys were speaking falsely, as no jackass could be as powerful as they seemed to think.
28. Sanatana Goswami says that Balarama entered the forest first because He is older than Krishna.
"Trees" plural referred to because when Balarama shook one it shook many others at the same time.
29. Sanatana Goswami says that actually the whole planet shook with all its mountains etc., so this was a real display of the strength of Balarama.
30. Shridhara Swami says that "ka-sabda" word used because the donkey was braying, making a sound like "ka."
31. Sanatana Goswami says that "O King" said because the King was in anxiety because of the turn of events.
32. Sanatana Goswami says that Balarama is giving pleasure to the gopas, showing Dhenukasura's pettiness and His own power, playfully making the tala fruit fall.
34. Shridhara Swami says that the effects on the trees shows the extreme strength of Lord Balarama.
35. Sanatana Goswami says that it's not so amazing that He could kill Dhenukasura in this way.
Jiva Goswami says that refers to SB 10.50.29 - na tasya citran para paksa nigraha - "such subduing of His enemies is not at all amazing for Him, but nevertheless it is described in terms of the characteristics of mortals."
36. Sanatana Goswami says that the other asses ran at Krishna because they were afraid of Lord Balarama, having seen what He did to Dhenukasura. Or it may indicate that out of affection Krishna put Himself between Balarama and the demons.
37. Sanatana Goswami says that "O King" used because of King's rising joy.
41. Sanatana Goswami says that Because of the statements in the first verse of this chapter we can understand that this pastime may have occurred on the first day Krishna herded the cows.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Pulindas and other aboriginal types living in the area ate the fruits as they became inedible for the gopas due to being tainted by the blood of the dead demons.
Chapters 15-16 Kaliya
47. Sanatana Goswami says that use of the name "Kalindi" indicates Kaliya.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that "without Rama" because that day it was Balarama's birthday.
48. Sanatana Goswami says that they were very thirsty so they all drank at once and manifested symptoms of poisoning simultaneously, otherwise those who did not drink initially would have seen the effects and not drunk.
49-50. Sanatana Goswami says that "lost consciousness by the divine will of the Lord" indicates this was all going on by Krishna's arrangement to drive Kaliya away from Vraja. So this whole pastime is a display of the Lord's amazing potency.
Krishna could have brought ordinary devotees back to life by His desire, but because they were very special devotees He gave them His special glance which is a shower or nectar.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that "lifeless" means that with His yogamaya potency He covered their life-airs. Otherwise the cowherd boys are eternal.
51. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that they must have asked each other how it happened that they were revived from death. What herbs or mantras had been used.
Then one boy remembered what Gargamuni had said, that "you boys will easily cross over all obstacles by His (Krishna's) mercy."
52. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that then they unanimously agreed that Krishna's glance must have been the exclusive cause.
Sanatana Goswami says that this is because such 1st class devotees do not recognize any other cause for their good fortune than the grace of Krishna.
1. Sanatana Goswami says that the Yamuna is very dear to Krishna, so He became very concerned when He saw she was polluted, and He wanted to purify her of the contamination.
2. Shridhara Swami says that Kaliya had been living there for many yugas.
Sanatana Goswami says that the lake's contamination was so great that it couldn't have happened over a short time.
4. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that lake was about 1 yojana wide, and away from the part of the Yamuna where the water was flowing, otherwise the poisone would have mixed with the moving water and poisoned Mathura.
5. Shridhara Swami says that the water was being brought to boiling temperature by the poison, therefore there was a strong vapour rising which was also poisonous. For 1 yojana around the lakeshore everything was poisoned.
6. Shridhara Swami says that in another Purana there is an account of Garuda placing some nectar on the tree, therefore it had survived the poison.
Sanatana Goswami says that Krishna dived in head first.
8. Shridhara Swami says that Kaliya called caksu-sravaa because he hears through his eyes.
9. Sanatana Goswami says that his biting should be known as his heartily kissing the Lord, and his covering the body of the Lord should be understood as a firm embrace. "With anger" means "as if with anger," but actually with pure love because the Lord showed him mercy. Other acaryas don't speak like this.
10. Sanatana Goswami says that shows the intensity of their relationship with the Lord. They were crying with painful sounds.
Actually Krishna didn't move because He was stunned because of the loving embrace. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the Lord didn't move because of heroic pride. He was telling Kaliya "go ahead, show your strength, but later on I'll show you My strength."
11. Sanatana Goswami says that their "standing up" was like a dead creature which is somehow struck by a thunderbolt and as a result rises up. We should understand that all the creatures of the forest came.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that "as if crying" means that their tears had dried up out of fear and anxiety.
12. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the presiding deities of the different natural functions, out of affection forgot His opulence. Out of fear they showed bad omens.
13. Sanatana Goswami says that they felt that because Balarama didn't go with Krishna that Krishna had therefore got into difficulty, but if Balarama had gone with Him He would not have.
15. Jiva Goswami says that He did not say anything in order to give them courage. He laughed for the same reason. Balarama did not do anything because He could not - He was unable to act apart from the desire of Krishna.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Balarama was laughing because He was thinking "He doesn't take pleasure in playing with Me in My form as esanaga, but rather He wants to play with this lowest of snakes, the mundane petty Kaliya."
He didn't say anything because it would have been improper to cover over the mood of the others who were so abs orbed in Krishna. Also because He was incapable of doing so.
When He laughed they felt a little reassured and their desire to give up their lives reduced.
18. Sanatana Goswami says that Why had His footprints not been covered over by now, seeing He had passed on that path some time before and many birds and beasts had passed on that path since then? Because all the inhabitants of Vrndavana forest carefully preserved His footprints as great treasures, the very ornaments of the earth.
19. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that They adults asked the cowherd boys what had happened to Krishna, but the boys were not able to reply, being stunned. The adults became even more stunned when they observed that stunned condition of the boys.
20. Sanatana Goswami says that Having given a general description of the conditions of all present there, now a description of certain individuals or groups is to be given. First the gopis. It is not possible that the snake could have overpowered Him, so we can understand that this is going on by His desire. They became overwhelmed because they could not recognize the scientific facts of the situation, because of their overwhelming burden of love.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that They felt the three worlds to be burned to ashes by the fire of separation from Him.
21. Sanatana Goswami says that Sukadeva is only revealing a little of how the different people are feeling because of being overwhelmed by his own burden of sorrow.
Qutoes Vishnu Purana to give details of the feelings they expressed to Mother Yasoda: "It is better that all of us together with Mother Yasoda, enter into this poisonous, mighty lake of the king of serpents rather than return to Vrndavana, which is no longer appropriate for us. After all, what is the use of the day without sun, of the night without the moon, of the cows without their bull, or of Vrndavana without Krishna. Deprived of Krishna we shall not return to Vrndavana. This forest is no longer fit to be resided in, just like a lake deprived of water. It is very amazing to us that Krishna's mother still maintains her hankering to reside along with Him in Vrndavana, where that Lord Hari exhibited His complexion like that of the petals of the blue lotus. But, O wretched woman, how can we remain in the cow pastures without seeing Lord Hari, His eyes as shining as the petals of a full-blown lotus? All the wealth of our minds has been stolen away by His most charming talks, and therefore we will not go back to the cowherd village of Nanda Maharaj without the lotus-eyed Lord Krishna. Just see O gopis, how even while being enveloped in the coils of the king of serpents, Kaliya, Krishna is still glancing at us with His beautiful smiling face."
They repeatedly washed her face, which had become encrusted with the mucus from her tears. They were shedding tears in waves, or rivers, implying that one wave of tears would come out and flood over the top of the tears that had become out before.
22. Sanatana Goswami says that They were all indiscriminately entering, so how could He check them? Answer in word "bhagavan." Some He checked verbally, some by physical force, some by glancing at them reassuringly. Because He checked them they fell down unconscious, distressed at being stopped from joining Krishna.
23. Sanatana Goswami says that He released Himself on basis of His feelings of being unable to tolerate the distress of others. One who meets another with special affection does not stand up and forcibly free himself from the embrace, but rather he remains embracing for some time and then stands up. In this way he imitated ordinary behaviour.
24. Sanatana Goswami says that Kaliya became angry out of affection. Because of the Lord's charm he simply looked at him.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that from his eyes flaming poison was coming out.
26. Shridhara Swami says that Krishna was able to dance so nicely on the moving hoods because He is the original spiritual master of all arts.
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that this display of dancing skill was particularly intended for the younger girls who were experiencing preliminary attachment for Him.
27. Sanatana Goswami says that the offering of paraphenalia was not done in proper order because all these people who came were in too much ecstasy to worry about these details, or because ukadeva was in too much ecstasy to express it properly.
30. Sanatana Goswami says that Krishna danced somewhat excessively on Kaliya's hoods to increase his good fortune. By all his hoods being broken is indicated that he was becoming humbled He offered prayers within his mind because he was in too much pain to speak out loud. But within his mind he was saying "I am yours."
Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the seed of devotion had been planted in his heart by his wives, but because of his fault of a predominance of anger due to previous offenses it was unable to sprout
31. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that previously the wives had thought that Kaliya was such a rascal that if he was killed it wouldn't worry them, but when they saw he was becoming a devotee they thought they should try to help him.
34. Madhvacarya says that "One who simply thinks with devotion 'the punishment which the Supreme Lord is exerting upon me is actually mercy towards me' indeed becomes pious. But for those who continue, even after punishment from the Lord, to envy Him, their attitude is the reason for their continuing to fail to recognize Him."
35. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that these must have been Vaishnava practices, because we do not see such qualities, particularly pridelessness, in people who are not Vaishnavas.
36. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that he must have done some amazing Vaishnava activities.
Chapter 18 Pralambhasura
17. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Pralambhasura had assumed the form of one cowherd boy who had stayed home because of some business to do there.
27. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that Balarama felt afraid because He had been placed under the influence of yogamaya by Krishna. If Balarama had been aware of the actual situation He would have killed the demon long before, and the pastime would not have been able to unfold as it has.
28. Sanatana Goswami says that According to Vishnu Purana Krishna called out to Balarama "What is this mentality of a mere man which You are exhibiting, O Soul of all, even though Your true nature is more confidential than all other secret things?" Then Balarama remembered and realized everything about what was happening.
Chapter 17 Krishna Swallows The Forest Fire
20. Sanatana Goswami says that the same night, after the punishing of Kaliya. They were too far from the village to return, and too exhausted due to their sever lamentations during the day, so the took rest near where they had been.
21. Sanatana Goswami says that some say that the fire was a friend of Kaliya's who assumed this form, and others say that he was a demon who was a follower of Kamsa.
24. Sanatana Goswami says that if we were to die now we would be separted from you, and that would be intolerable for us.
25 Sanatana Goswami says that He acted as though He drank it. There is no need to understand this by logical reason, because the potency which was the fire was also coming from Him. His parents and others would have been shocked if they had seen Him drinking the fire, so He drank it in such a way that they couldn't see what was happening.
Chapter 19 Krishna Saves The Cowherd Boys From A Forest Fire
7. Sanatana Goswami says that Some say that the forest fire was a friend of Pralambha.
11. Sanatana Goswami says that Krishna asks the boys to close their eyes because if they see Him swallowing the fire they will feel concerned for His safety out of love, and will then enter the fire to protect Him and be harmed.
12. Sanatana Goswami says that by His potency it became like a single mouthful of a beverage.
13. Visvanatha Cakravarti Thakura says that the boys had been thinking " Krishna knows very well the means of counteracting fire, poison and so on - gems, mantras magic and the like. These things, however, cannot be carried out without secrecy. Thus since there are so many people here if we simply close our eyes, that will be privacy. The fire became very afraid and turned into an extremely cooling, fragrant and sweet-tasting drink.